Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

CO, CT has clear dimensions in their Senate showdown races

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The White House is thrilled that Michael Bennett survived his Democratic primary challenge for the Senate from Colorado. As you may recall, the White House also rooted hard for Arlen Specter to beat Joe Sestak in Pennsvlvania. Now, of course, the same White House is rooting for Sestak.

Unlike Specter or even Sestak, Bennett hadn’t been elected, so a primary push was a more significant threat, especially with a considerable challenge from former state House speaker Andrew Romanoff. At least, Bennett knows what it’s like to beat off a challenger.

The underdog won on the Republican side, as Weld County prosecutor and teabagger Ken Buck edged out former lieutenant governor Jane Norton.

Interim Senate appointees have traditionally had a relatively free ride, having all the perks of incumbency while being mostly unknown. But the MSM started freaking out over interim Senate appointees after Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008. All of a sudden, the Senate replacements were a big deal, one of the reasons why Bennett had such a hard time.

This isn’t to say that the MSM shouldn’t be concerned about unelected Senate appointees; just hope the diligence continues when the Republicans have their turn.

One race the MSM is more excited to cover is the Senate race from Connecticut to replace the retiring Chris Dodd (D-CT). Sure you would think a Rob Simmons-Richard Blumenthal race would make the MSM into a replica of Pavlov’s dog. But the real reason the MSM is pumped is that Linda McMahon beat out Simmons and others to win the GOP nod.

McMahon’s relationship to Vince McMahon (wife) and World Wrestling Entertainment (wrestling) has been a lightening rod in the primary and subsequently in the general election. Oh, and McMahon has spent a lot of money and will spend a lot of her own money for November.

Both states have incumbent governors not running, so governors races may influence who comes to the polls in those and other states.

The two latest determined Senate races don’t shed any light on where the Senate is headed, but there will be interest, even if they have little to do with politics or policy.

Republicans feel like Colorado is more red than purple, and will look to prove that in that Senate race. Connecticut is a strange state in that the Republicans’ best friend that doesn’t have a (R) by his side — Joe Lieberman — will be the state’s senior senator, regardless of who wins in November.

Despite the pumped-up scandal, Richard Blumenthal is the strongest candidate in either race. McMahon has the most money of any of the other candidates, so we’ll see which way Connecticut goes in November.

The teabagger angle has come up in Colorado, since Buck is now considered the third teabagger running for the Senate, behind Rand Paul and Sharron Angle. Buck may have a seriously hard time outdoing Paul and Angle in outrageousness, but there’s still time.

Between the teabaggers and McMahon’s wrestling/money connections, the MSM will play up these and other Senate races in a way that is atypical for non-presidential years. More coverage in a democracy is a good thing, but the quality of that increased coverage: there are serious doubts.

Reporting outrageous comments is what the MSM loves to do. But to remind the MSM, this isn’t just about fun and games.

People running for office can’t just be against something: they have to be for something. These teabaggers are going to run, so they need to be asked the same kind of questions as the other candidates. Our country is in really bad shape. And these and other Senate races are going to matter. Spend some time on the issues and we’ll likely be OK. Dismiss that approach and we’ll find what we need elsewhere — as usual.

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Written by democracysoup

August 13, 2010 at 7:38 am

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